Home Articles It’s all in the cloud. Find the one that’s right for you

It’s all in the cloud. Find the one that’s right for you

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There is no better buzzword in computing than “cloud.”

Over the past decade, cloud applications have come of age. VentureBeat estimates that 86% of the companies are now using multiple cloud services. Still, the phenomenon might seem a little curious to some who have yet to embrace it. The thing is: Over and above the comprehensive value it provides, cloud computing offers very distinct advantages to businesses. We believe several may be behind the rapid adoption.

Here’s a list of 21 most compelling reasons why cloud computing might be the thing for you:

1. Cost Savings. It’s often the No. 1 reason cited by businesses turning to the cloud. Cloud applications typically deliver a lower total cost of ownership, compared with deploying a solution locally.

2. Mobility. Cloud-based applications are delivered via a web browser to any device with an Internet connection. This means you can take advantage of its capabilities to offer a service anywhere in the world on any device.

3. Big power. Most cloud services are delivered on demand, and can be changed to meet dynamic business needs. Smaller companies are empowered to utilise incredible power that previously would have been available only to businesses with big budgets.

4. Rapid deployment. Cloud technology can typically be activated in a matter of minutes, providing businesses the ability to quickly respond to client needs.

5. No installation or maintenance. Cloud services are served by a provider. Unlike local solutions, set-up and ongoing maintenance is fully managed, meaning you don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting.

6. No hardware. Anybody that has worked in IT knows that it has a tendency to fail from time to time. It’s a fact of life. By turning to the cloud you completely negate the problems with updating and managing hardware in-house.

7. Scalability. Unlike local solutions, IT capabilities can be scaled up or scaled down on the drop of a hat. There is no lag-time and therefore no loss in productivity.

8. Bandwidth. Complex business processes are completed outside of your network, reducing the pressure and strain on your resources. The result is greater and more reliable bandwidth for your local network.

9. No software. Anyone who has dealt with managing and updating software licenses knows they can be a bit of a headache. Getting additional licenses can take time and installation can be a pain, too.

10. Big data management. “Big data” is one of the hottest trends today as businesses learn to harness its power to drive strategic decisions. Cloud applications provide an intelligent way and the robust infrastructure to manage large data.

11. Data security. The top security concern cited in cloud computing is data security. But, ironically, data security can actually be enhanced by the move. This is because cloud providers have stronger operational systems than many organisations and are usually backed by multi-million dollar infrastructure.

12. Compliance management. Monitoring the effectiveness of security and compliance is a lot simpler because the cloud provider maintains logs that support compliance audits or other requirements.

13. Lowers operating expenses. Cloud solutions serve as an operating expense with no redundancy. Local solutions, on the other hand, require upfront investment costs and could over time turn into underutilised resources.

14. Automation. The vast majority of cloud applications have a significant degree of automation, meaning business processes can be simplified and set on autopilot.

15. Guaranteed performance. The level of service you get from a cloud provider is governed by a Service Level Agreement that not only stipulates service standards but ties it to the fees you pay.

16. Set and forget. A number of cloud solutions are known as “set and forget” solutions that work in the background and require no end user input.

17. Minimal downtime. Downtime is one of the benchmarks that should be determined in your SLA. Cloud providers that have multi-million dollar infrastructures can guarantee 99.9% uptime or above.

18. Intuitive user experience. The user experience of a cloud provider is a significant determining factor of their success. You’ll typically discover easy-to-use interfaces and getting the most out of services should not require too much end user training.

19. Agility. The combination of flexibility, mobility, scalability, state-of-the-art technology and rapid deployment provide your business with a level of agility that previously was unimaginable.

20. Support. Cloud providers offer all types of support. While most provide extensive web support through guides and FAQs, the best in the business offer fanatical support with local phone and email support around the clock.

21. Value drivers. Often, IT is considered the “bastard child” department, and the tech folks are seen as troubleshooters. Cloud computing, by delivering business processes effectively and automatically, enables IT departments to concentrate on strategic projects and drive endless value into your business.

David Siddall communicates the benefits of cloud technology for SMBs each day for leading email and web security provider MailGuard. Write to him at [email protected].

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